WORLD NEWS 04-07-2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • SENATE, REPS PASS PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BILL AFTER 13 YEARS.
  • IPMAN DEBUNKS REPORTS OF PLANNED NATIONWIDE STRIKE.
  • ON FOREIGN SCENE, FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT, ZUMA, BAGS 15 MONTHS JAIL TERM.
  • W.H.O ISSUES RED ALERT ON FRESH WAVE OF COVID-19 IN EUROPE.

ARMY/SHAKE UP

The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, has carried out a major reshuffle amidst generals and other top officials of the force.

Director of the army public relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, made the announcement, noting that major general Yahaya appointed principal staff officers, PSOs, field commanders and other key staff.

According to Nwachukwu, commandant of the Nigerian Army Armoured School, major general B.O Sawyer, is the new director Defence information, while the chief of operations army, major general I.M Yusuf becomes the commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy.

He added that major general I.S Ali who becomes the General Officer Commanding, GOC 3 division will double as the commander special task force Operation Safe Haven.

ZUMA/COURT CASE

South Africa’s constitutional court has agreed to hear former President Jacob Zuma’s challenge to reconsider and rescind an order sentencing him to jail for 15 months on contempt charges.

This is in response to Zuma’s request to the country’s highest court to review its decision to sentence him to the 15 months jail term.

A statement released to journalists, however, revealed that the top court has agreed to hear the 79-year old ex-president’s application on Monday, July 12.

The former South African president was given until the end of today, July 4, to hand himself over to the police, after which the personnel would be obliged to arrest him, an order he prayed the court to set aside.

ETHIOPIA/FAMINE

The United Nations has raised an alarm over the number of persons suffering from famine in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Members of the U.N Security Council, UNSC, raised the alarm during their first public meeting on the Tigray crisis, stressing that recent fighting in the embattled region has resulted in a famine that is now affecting more than 400 thousand people.

The council lamented that a further 1.8 million people were on the brink of famine as a result of the eight-month conflict, warning of further clashes despite the declaration of a ceasefire in the region.

Report indicated that the fighting between the Tigray people’s liberation front, TPLF, and government forces has already left thousands of people dead and more than two million others displaced.

FRANCE/MALI

France has announced plans to resume joint military operations in Mali after suspending the West African country early last month over its second coup in less than a year.

France armed forces Minister, Florence Parly, made the announcement in a statement issued to journalists.

Parly explained that France decided to resume the joint military operations as well as national advisory missions following consultations with the Malian transitional authorities and other countries of the region.

French president, Emmanuel Macron, had earlier suspended the joint operations against rebel groups which has been ongoing for nearly a decade after Mali’s military strongman Assimi Goita overthrew the then civilian transitional president and prime minister.

EUROPE/COVID-19

Governments in Europe are doing all within their powers to contain a massive surge in the coronavirus outbreaks in their territories.

In Russia, officials imposed an array of measures to compel or encourage people to get vaccinated as the covid-19 death toll hit a record high for the fifth straight day.

The Russian officials, who blame the surge on the highly infectious Delta variant and tepid demand for vaccinations, therefore expressed hope that the number of people who have had a first dose would reach three million next week.

In Italy, police authorities broke up a number of online schemes offering to sell fake European Union digital covid-19 status certificates or purported coronavirus vaccines.

A police statement hinted that the investigation, which was coordinated by the cybercrime prosecutor’s office in Milan, showed that thousands of people were ready to pay for false certificates.

CANADA/HEATWAVE

The Canadian military is prepared to help evacuate residents in British Columbia as lightning triggers more wildfires in the territories.

While addressing reporters, Canadian Defence minister, Harjit Sajjan, disclosed that about 350 military personnel and aircraft are being readied to help as wildfires linked to a record-breaking heatwave threaten to engulf communities.

Meanwhile, Director of Provincial Operations for British Columbia Wildfire Service, Cliff Chapman, had earlier announced that evacuation orders and alerts are in place for several areas where the worst fires are raging.

Large swathes of North America, including Alberta, Manitoba and Northern Ontario have seen a high-pressure heatwave in recent days, causing abnormally high temperatures.

MIAMI/BUILDING COLLAPSE

United States officials have suspended search efforts for possible survivors in the rubble of a partially collapsed apartment block near the city of Miami, Florida.

This comes as rescue teams prepare to effect the controlled demolition of the building over safety fears due to an approaching storm.

Addressing newsmen on the proposed demolition, Florida Governor, Ron Desantis, revealed that strong winds in the coming days could bring down additional debris from the unstable structure, thereby endangering the lives of the search teams.

It would be recalled that part of the 12-storey block of the 40-year old Champlain Towers south collapsed on June 24, leaving no fewer than twenty-four people dead and 121 others missing.

PHILIPPINES/PLANE CRASH

No fewer than 17 people have died and scores of others wounded after a military plane transporting troops crashed in the Southern Philippines at the early hours of today.

The country’s Defence secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen.

Lorenzana said an aircraft named C-130 with ninety-two people on board, most of which are members of the armed forces, crashed as it tried to land on Jolo Island in Sulu province, adding that 40 injured persons have been rushed to the hospital.

The recent development comes barely a month after a black hawk helicopter crashed during a night-time training flight, killing all six on board.

SPORTS

England, Spain, Denmark and Italy have been confirmed as the last four countries standing at the ongoing European championships dubbed euro 2020.

The confirmation comes a day after England cruised through to the semi-finals of euro 2020 with a one-sided 4-0 win over Ukraine in the Italian capital of Rome.

Harry Kane ended a worrying international scoring drought by scoring a brace to put England ahead of Ukraine, while Harry Maguire and substitute Jordan Henderson sealed the remaining four goals.

Reacting, England manager, Gareth Southgate, hailed his team’s magnificent display as beautiful.

In the meantime, Spain and Italy had earlier booked their places in the semi-final, where they face each other, while Denmark became the third team to progress, following their 2-1 win over Czech Republic.

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